Child Maintenance: How to apply for self-service
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One mum received a lump sum of £28,000 after the child’s estranged father refused to help with living costs after making profit on a property sale, while another parent has secured Child Maintenance payments of £100 a week. Now other parents are being urged to get in touch with the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) for help getting the support they deserve.
A record £1billion in child maintenance payments was collected by the CMS in the last 12 months to September 2021, according to latest figures out today.
Child Maintenance is an arrangement which is made between one person and the other parent of their child.
These arrangements are usually necessary when a couple has split up, and one parent takes care of the child.
The person with the main day-to-day responsibilities receives a sum from the paying parent who does not have main caring duties.
In a recent case, a £28,000 lump sum was secured for a single mum after the CMS took further action on her behalf.
The CMS caseworker said: “To phone a parent to tell them about such a life changing amount, is an amazing feeling.
“I spoke to her again recently to find out how she is and she said the money has helped her immensely.”
Another parent is now receiving £100 a week to cover backdated payments and current living costs after the CMS took the case to court.
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It also spurred the absent parent to see their child more regularly at the weekends.
The parent said: “This was all I wanted, which was worth more than the money itself.”
Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, the Department for Work and Pensions Lords Minister and Minister for Women Baroness Stedman-Scott said it’s proof it’s work is changing lives.
Ms Stedman-Scott said: “Child maintenance helps lift children out of poverty and gives them better life chances so it is fantastic to see the service delivering so well for families.
She continued: “Most parents have their child’s best interests at heart and the service we provide encourages parents to work together to agree the best outcome for the whole family.
“But where people are not willing to do the right thing, we’re seeing that our enforcement measures are effective in directing money to the right place, which ultimately benefits everyone.
“£1 billion is a huge milestone for the service and I applaud those working hard behind the scenes with families to deliver on our levelling up agenda.”
Child maintenance payments lift 120,000 children out of poverty each year with nearly 800,000 children now supported by the service.
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The service was set up to ensure the absconded parent doesn’t dodge their financial responsibilities.
Helping single-parent households get the financial support they need means these children aren’t put at such a financial disadvantage.
Since 2019, the CMS has been given tougher powers allowing them to crack down on parents who refuse to pay.
Anyone who is looking for help recouping payments for their child should contact the CMS, details can be found on gov.uk.
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